When folks purchase residential real estate and require financing, most likely an “escrow account” will be established during the loan process for the payment of insurance and taxes. This is different than “putting a contract into escrow.” “Putting a contract into escrow” means that the contract signed by the buyer and seller has been delivered to a title company to begin working towards a transaction. An “escrow account” established for the payment of insurance and taxes basically means that you will make a monthly mortgage payment to your bank and a portion of that payment will be set aside to pay your homeowners insurance and real estate taxes automatically. This is done for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, lending regulations require a bank to establish an escrow account with most residential real estate loans. Secondly, because the home is the bank’s security for the repayment of the loan, it wants to make sure that its security is protected. Therefore, the bank wants to make sure the home is insured against loss and they also do not want the home taken away for the failure to pay the real estate taxes.
During the loan process, you will be informed of how much the monthly insurance and taxes escrow will be. Also, because your transaction will most likely not happen on the 31st of December, some proration of taxes will be required. Proration means that the seller will be responsible for the taxes while he/she owns the home and you will pay the taxes when you own the home. However, taxes are only payable at the end of the year. Therefore, the seller gives a portion of the taxes to the buyer and the buyer pays all the taxes at the end of the year.
Also, the bank will collect additional funds to be placed into the escrow funds at the time of closing your loan. Those beginning funds will be added with the monthly payments to pay the insurance and taxes when they come due. The bank handling the escrow account will receive the yearly bill for insurance and taxes and pay them when each comes due. You will still receive a statement from the County Treasurer and your insurance provider, but this is simply for your information. Additionally, you are always welcome to choose or change your homeowner’s coverage and insurance company.
Upon selling your house, you may have funds left in the escrow account that will not be needed to pay any future insurance or taxes. These funds will be returned to you following the sale of your real estate. It is important to work with the escrow service to make sure they are mailed to your new address. Questions about escrow accounts, homeowner’s insurance coverage and real estate taxes during the loan process are quite common and can seem complicated. If you have questions, speak with your banker or our closing agents here at Tallgrass Title. We are happy to explain the process. It’s our job!